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Pick of the Camera Reviews

(Click the pictures for reviews & links) 

ACTION CAMS

Yi 2 - Best Budget 4K 

Gitup Git2 (My Pick)

Xiaomi Yi

Dazzne P2

SJCAM M10+
 
DASH-CAMS (CAR DVRs)
 
A119
Yi Ultra 2.7K
   
    MINI CAMERAS
Mobius (also works as a Dashcam)
Polaroid Cube+
    HELMET CAMERA
Sena Prism Tube

My favourite USB battery power Pack

This is the excellent USB power pack I use when I travel.

2 x 2.1amp outputs. 8400mAh capacity.

Two digit Led display shows battery level

 

What SD CARD should I buy?

If you want an SD Card for your camera - these are the ones I use and recommend. 

I'd strongly recommend not to buy any SD cards off ebay - I've heard about too many issues with counterfeit cards - often sold on by unwitting resellers. My inbox regularly gets messages from people who bought a £150 camera then cheaped out and bought a £3 memory card on ebay - Then when it doesn't worth they blame the camera! It doesn't make any sense. Good memory is cheaper than it's ever been - see the links above.

A lot of HD cameras will not work properly with cards larger than 32GB (cards over 32GB are usually SDXC rather than the SDHC standard used by 32GB cards. SDXC cards use the ex-FAT system rather than FAT32 - in short they are a different standard). - so don't just buy the biggest card you can afford - read the specs in the manual to see what it accepts.

UK & US LINKS & PRICES BELOW

RECOMMENDED CARDS (for action cams - see dashcams below)

CLASS 10 UHS-1 CARDS (For HD Cameras)

 

U3 CARD (For 4K cameras)

 

 

SPECIAL DASHCAM CARDS

The SD card in a dashcam is re-written over, more frequently than in other types of cameras. Some manufacturers void their guarantee if an SD card was used in a dashcam. So, no surprise, there are special High Endurance SD cards made just for dashcams...here's some.

 

VERY IMPORTANT. These links take you to the product, however Amazon have three different ways of selling. There's Amazon Direct - This means that you are only dealing with Amazon themselves, then there's other sellers that use Amazon's facilities - these show as Fulfilled By Amazon and finally there's Market Place sellers that advertise on Amazon, but operate independently.  I strongly recommend that you only use the first...the Amazon Direct - Sold By Amazon option. Even if it appears that you are paying a couple of £/$ more it is more than likely you are comparing the price of a real item against the price of a fake.

To give you an idea of the extent of the fake goods problem. In a 2016 survey by Apple - 90% of the 'Apple' chargers sold through Amazon - using the other the two methods..which includes the "Fulfilled by Amazon" option -  were found to be counterfeit....90%! 

            

 
« SAE Mk VI HiFi Tuner - as old as I am, but showing it less | Main | 120V 60Hz from a 230V 50Hz power supply »
Friday
Aug262016

Netgear Arlo Wireless Battery-Powered Camera System

For the last few years I've been experimenting with different security camera setups to monitor my front and back garden. I'd like to be alerted when the parcel man arrives, if anyone is messing with the car, or if someone has hopped over the fence in the back. I need day and night shooting ability and the camera has to be waterproof and small enough not to draw attention.  I've tried a number of alternative solutions without getting the results I wanted.

A big issue was that I didn't want to drill holes through the walls or run wires along the outside of the house and even a wireless WiFi camera still needs to have a wired power supply.

After trying a few different and unsuccessful ideas, I discovered the Netgear Arlo - the only system on the market that uses 100% wire-free cameras. In the video below you can see the setup process and the results that I get from this compact battery-powered camera system.

If you like the look of the Netgear Arlo system and think it can work for you, the affiliated links below will direct you to the product on Amazon. 

Amazon UK

Amazon USA

Amazon DE

Amazon IT

Amazon ES

Amazon FR

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Reader Comments (17)

Hi Matt

Another great product review - thanks.

P.s. You Subject line says Negear rather than Netgear....

August 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRobB

Hi Mat,

You had me glued to the review throughout, I'm not quite sure why they don't recommend rechargeable batteries, my guess is they wouldn't last as long. I have a similar issue with the LightwaveRf sensors (http://lightwaverf.com/product-category/movement-sensors/), they all have batteries which I have to replace every few months, these only last with standard batteries, rechargables dont last as long. The sensors are brilliant as they will sense anyone in the room and the lighting condiitions and then switch on the lights at a set dimmer level, if required, I've got 5 sensors around the house means the lights come on and off depending where you are in the house, excellent stuff and saves electricity.

Btw - love the muppets sketch at the end - brilliant.

As always, thanks for listening.

Daz

August 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDaz

Thanks for the info about the sensors - I would like something similar that can go outdoors and send an alert to my phone before the chap gets half way up the drive - kind of like what the Ring Doorbell was supposed to do, but failed miserably at.

August 27, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

RobB - thanks - fixed.

August 27, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Great review. Thank you.

Ordered a 3 pack set from Amazon UK straight away and it's being delivered today! Excellent service.

The three pack seems to be the best value at the moment.

August 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAsh

Yes, the one pack is possibly the worst value....a base station for a single camera seems overkill...however whatever number of cameras you buy, be careful as they have a habit of multiplying...I'm up to four now.

A quick tip about syncing the cameras, it might take a big of to-and-fro between pressing the sync button on the base station and the camera...the camera won't sync unless the sync light is also flashing on the base station and sometimes it takes a few long presses before it starts flashing. Just be patient and give it a few goes, once the camera does a rapid blue flash, you're good to go.

Another thing I noticed...the other day I went into the garden to move one of the cameras about, I looked on my phone to see that I was pointing it the right way and noticed how good the signal is from the Netgear base station compared to my normal wifi signal. My phone was on one bar of wifi yet the camera was showing a full strength signal. Both the Arlo base station and my wifi router are plugged into the same power strip and are on the shelf next to each other. It makes me understand why they decided to go with their own basestation rather than use your existing one.

August 28, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

This could work during a power outage if the router has a batter backup, and your internet does not require mains power as some do. In the US Verizon Fios ONT device has a small backup battery but requires power from your house, which is annoying.

It is too bad it cannot transmit directly to a cellphone, you could use it as a dash or action cam.

August 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge

Great review. Thanks.

Any info on how secure the video feed is? Encryption? Pimple password?
Tech savy criminals could otherwise reverse the tables on you and use the video signal to tell when you left home....

August 29, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

I've been keeping an eye on Netgear's new Arlo lineup. They seem to have the best deal, as far as price and ability to store date locally (without paying to store in the cloud).

These new "smartcams" are a huge leap in technology from what's still being offered from companies like Lorex or other outdoor systems.

Unfortunately, the fact that these cameras are battery powered and must sleep/wake is a huge deal breaker for me. I'm hoping they make something closer to an outdoor Arlo Q or Q+, where I can wire it in, I can get a live feed, even set up a tablet by the front door to always see the live feed.

August 30, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJustin

An interesting review - David Attenborough look out!

Anyone in Australia who's interested in these Netgear Arlo items can see them in a Harvey Norman's electronics department, although they aren't cheap there.

August 31, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPete

Great review and very informative. Thank you. It made me read up more on the arlo forums and some owners have managed to wire the cameras up to their mains with the help of an adapter and a small hole in the battery compartment.

I also found netgear did provide support directly to one of their routers from the cameras making the base station obsolete. However, a few conflicts arose and the support was taken away in the next firmware update for the router.

August 31, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

Very Good! Great review and very informative!

Tks

August 31, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterkantynho00

Techmoan,
Great presentation and review (as usual).. I will use one camera to cover the front on the house to oversee the kids leaving the house and getting into the cars to go to school and work. The other camera, I will place in the back of the house.

Keep up the great work on reviewing products. You have a loyal follower all the way from Augusta, Georgia, USA. I will spread the word to others on your outstanding web site.

Wish you and your family the best.

September 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRick

Good little system this.

Avoid "live viewing" the cameras as this uses up the batteries too quick. Instead view the events using the app/online.

Bought a pack of 3 black rubber skins from Wasserstein - cheaper than the Netgear ones - and they work just fine. Sort of made me buy a third camera.

Use some Vaseline/Petrolium Jelly liberally spread around the join area of the battery compartment door to keep the water out - looks a bit messy but works really well.

January 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

Great fan of your vid reviews, got me hooked
I have been researching cctv systems and been seriously confused by all the conflicting claims and the plethora of kit offers from the FE. As we all know much is this is total bs, waste of money. I tried testing composite video rgb type cameras some 5 years ago and concluded that the best value was buying dummy cameras as the video quality was very poor (no use to police for recognition for example). But tech has moved on and we have 1080p hd system available. (4 ch system for ca£250 BUT there is so much counterfeit stuff out there and this can be superficially indistinguishable from the genuine article ( as per sj 5000 action cams sold on Amazon but only as a reseller basis - no Amazon direct protection available as of feb 2017

But really the Amazon feedback doesnt favour this wireless camera system (go check), to be fair buyers didnt recognise the systems limitations, but £250 for 4 channels? Not for me - a lot of dosh to tell you the postie 's here. And btw I wouldnt get carried away with motion detection, doesnt work well outside, too many false alarms, trees cats, doggers etc and there is a delay in systems powering up which means the intruder is off screen after 1 s

More work needed and to be fair its a big job

But power to the cause

Robin

February 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRobint

So I bought a 2 pack (and a single) to make 3 - worked out cheapest this way as Amazon had an offer on the single at £49.99. Installed on the saturday in less than 30 minutes. Taken down the following saturday in 5. Sent back,

Great Great idea but the fact that they rely on motion detection to save battery is its downfall - by the time it had detected any motion the event had passed. I appreciate that this is down to placement but I did try several areas and settings to no improvement. Maybe this is location dependant - on some home layouts and positions it will work well but certainly not how I had them, or needed them to give decent coverage of the house.

The geo-fencing seemed to work well after some initial teething issues - so I had it set to arm if both the wife and i (or our phones) left the house

In the week I had them, battery life didnt seem to move, 2 on 97% and 1 on 98% - which to be honest dropped to that level after two days but were like that after the week. Had about 40 clips recorded over the week between the three cams.

Anyway, they were sent back to Amazon (spoke to them on chat first to see if its possible as i had installed them) and now sitting here watching an installer put in 4 POE cameras with a 2TB hard drive - just over double the cost but will at least get 24/7 recording and at least a month of recordings on the 2TB HDD. Will have motion detection alerts and better night vision too.

March 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterStephen T

Well, bought a arlo camera system to protect my wife and home. Little did I know that when it gets cold in northern il. That she would be left unprotected. If you life in any where in the world where it gets cold DON'T BUY a arlo system

December 27, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

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